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Fury vs Wilder 3: Fury retains WBC title in thrilling heavyweight fight for the ages
Tyson Fury put his WBC heavyweight title on the line against Deontay Wilder at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office HD.
Tyson Fury stopped Deontay Wilder in the 11th round to retain his WBC heavyweight title in an absolute thriller at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Gypsy King dropped Wilder in the third round before being forced to climb off the canvas twice the very next round, as Fury somehow survived a dangerous onslaught from the Bronze Bomber during a pulsating exchange.
But that proved to be the last meaningful assault Wilder was able to launch as Fury grew in confidence throughout the contest, wearing out the exhausted former champion before finding a decisive right hand in the 11th round to end a brave resistance.
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The best heavyweight trilogy of all time came to a thrilling conclusion as Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder finally settled their feud once and for all exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office. Buy now to catch a repeat showing of this instant classic from Las Vegas.
Fury vs Wilder 3 - Full fight report
It was almost 5am UK time before Wilder finally emerged from the bowels of the T-Mobile Arena after an apparent issue with the challenger’s gloves caused a short delay to ring walks in front of a star-studded crowd in the fight capital.
The Bronze Bomber eventually emerged, sporting a rather more modest blood-red costume than the infamous black jewel-encrusted suit of armour Wilder believed cost him defeat in the second contest against Fury.
Fury, dressed as a Roman gladiator and flanked by a large entourage, strode purposefully to the ring minutes later to the soundtrack of ACDC’s You Shook Me All Night Long, a title which proved to be prophetic of the contest that would soon follow.
It began with Wilder making a deliberate effort to soften Fury up with rangy jabs to the midsection, peppering him with single body shots from distance as the champion elected to take a studious approach in the early stages.
With his assessment complete after the opening two-and-a-half minutes, Fury finally sprung into life to land the most meaningful shot of the round with a stiff right hand that seemed to stun Wilder momentarily.
Bouyed by his success in the closing stages of the first, Fury darted into range with a flurry of shots to open the second round, boxing on the front foot in a manner reminiscent of his performance in the previous contest.
With the action at a premium during an untidy second round, referee Russell Mora looked the busier of the three men in the ring as he was called into action to separate the tangled duo time and again.
Into the third, the Briton began to find his range with increasing accuracy and finally reaped his rewards as he fired a bludgeoning right hand into Wilder’s ear before following up with a clipping uppercut that sent the challenger to the mat with 20 seconds to go.
Looking dead on his feet, the American somehow made it to the bell but fatigue already seemed to be taking its toll on the 35-year-old who shocked many earlier this week by tipping the scales more than half a stone heavier than ever before.
The drama really kicked into life in the fourth round however as Fury, stalking his tiring prey, got complacent and walked onto a stinging right hand from the wounded Wilder, tumbling to the canvas for a 10-count with a little less than a minute to go in the round.
He rose to his feet but was swiftly sat back down during another wild exchange with 15 seconds to go as a partisan pro-Wilder crowd roared in excitement.
Once again turning to his miraculous powers of recovery, Fury made it to the bell and rose from his stool to ride an onslaught of wild, looping punches in the opening moments of the fifth.
Ducking and dodging Wilder’s messy assaults, Fury then turned defence into attack to deliver a crushing short hook on his opponent's chin that seemed to knock the fight out of the Bronze Bomber with both men happy to see out a round dominated by messy clinch work.
Fury received a rousing pep talk from trainer Sugarhill Steward ahead of the sixth and it looked to breathe some life back into the Wythenshawe man’s legs as he pressed the pace to smother Wilder.
It was more of the same in the seventh as an increasingly-exhausted Wilder showed little in the way of defence, absorbing strikes from all angles in the hope of landing a desperate haymaker in the melee.
Another clever combination from Fury hurt the Alabama fighter and nearly had him down again, mixing a dizzying assault of shots to body and head that almost spun Wilder onto the deck.
“Finish this s*** now!” Steward screamed at his charge ahead of the ninth.
“Let the jab go to work! He can’t throw the right hand if you jab him – just jab the m*****f*****, God dammit! The simplest s*** in the book!”
Steward’s words clearly had an effect as Fury sharpened up his discipline to land further unanswered shots flush against Wilder’s increasingly swollen face, wobbling him with a minute to go as the crowd sensed a finish.
He endured through round eight but the fight looked increasingly beyond Wilder’s grasp and the ringside doctor briefly inspected his worsening wounds ahead of round nine but allowed the challenger to continue.
Into the 10th, Fury finally made the breakthrough his dominance deserved as Wilder touched the canvas for the third time with another short right hand in the inside finding the target.
A finish seemed imminent but in the dying moments of the round, Wilder summoned the last remnants of what he had left to clip Fury with an uppercut.
Drained hollow by fatigue, Wilder’s subsequent shots failed to trouble the Gyspy King who danced on his toes into the 11th and final round.
His persistence finally paid off with the finish as Wilder’s resistance gave way when another chopping right hand parted the challenger with his senses midway through the round to send him crashing to the floor for a fourth time.
Mercifully, referee Russell Mora called a halt to the contest with Wilder in no danger of beating the count as a euphoric Fury climbed the turnstile to celebrate a memorable victory with his arms held aloft.
"Like the great John Wayne said, 'I'm made of pig iron and steel, baby!'
"It was a great fight tonight, worthy of any trilogy in the history of the sport. I'm not going to make any excuses, Wilder is a top fighter and he gave me a real run for my money. I always said I'm the best in the world and he's the second best.
"He's got no love for me, Deontay Wilder. Do you know why? Because I beat him three times. I'm a sportsman, I went over to show him some love and respect and he didn't want to give it back. That's his problem.
"I will pray for him so God will soften his heart. I want to thank everybody in this building who came out to show love for my sport of boxing. October 9 2021 will go down in history as a great night.
"I'm the WBC champ, The Ring mag champ and the lineal champ. I've got to say thank you to my trainer SugarHill because if it wasn't for him, America's own, Detroit's own, I wouldn't have got through that fight tonight. He told me 'get your jab working big dog and shoot that right hand down the middle!'
"He said only the big dogs pull it out late in fights, and I said 'yes, I've got ya!' And I went out and pulled it out the bag.
"I know you will have had your heart in your mouth tonight but don't ever doubt me! When the chips are down, I will always deliver."
"Tyson Fury did exactly what he needed to do, he was fighting a different person [to Wilder 2] tonight and he raised his game accordingly.
"He took his licks and got back up and he had that bounce from the start to the end. It was a great performance.
"The guy [Wilder] had a massive punch, 41 knockouts coming into this fight and Fury took that punch on the button. He went down and he got back up and you have to respect that.
"I don’t think Wilder did anything wrong when it comes to the weight I just think Fury was better. Coming into this fight I thought if Wilder had his right hand that would be enough to keep Fury nailed to the ground.
"It landed but it wasn’t enough. He didn’t have the technique to put clusters of those shots together. It nearly came but you need more than that to beat Tyson."
"It demonstrated how dangerous heavyweight boxing is. It looked like Tyson had Wilder's number in that third round, he put him down and looked like he was gonna finish him off but in this game you can’t take your eye off the ball, you can’t get complacent.
"Tyson got caught, he moved forwards a little bit too much and bang, he gets hit with a hayemaker of a punch.
"But full respect for Deontay Wilder, his powers of recovery and how he got to the 11th round. Time and again, he was out on his feet and how he made it to the 11th round I will never know.
"Wilder has gone out on his shield, the kid couldn’t have given any more. I think they got it wrong with the weight. I don’t think that helped. The start was excellent with the jabs to the body but you have to give credit to Tyson, it took him like two and a half minutes to suss this guy out.
"I’ve never seen a more natural fighter than Tyson Fury, he seems to switch on mentally and adjust to what he’s got to do.
"Tyson boxed very well on the inside for such a big man, not only was he leaning all over him but he was landing little shots on the inside, little uppercuts, little left hooks to the body.
"I thought he bullied him and beat him in every department. But we have to give credit to Wilder tonight too, what a warrior."
What next for Tyson Fury?
Speaking at the post-fight press conference alongside co-promoter Frank Warren and trainer SugarHill Steward, Fury refused to be drawn on suggestions about his next opponent, suggesting he was ready for a short break over the next few weeks.
In the aftermath of Anthony Joshua's defeat to Oleksandry Usyk last month, few could argue Fury now stands alone as the top dog in the divison.
He holds all the cards and will consider his next move carefully - although a UK homecoming against Dillian Whyte now looks the most likely scenario for the first half of 2022.
Earlier this month, the WBC ordered the winner of Whyte's upcoming showdown against Otto Wallin as the next mandatory challenger to Fury's title.
A showdown against Joshua any time in the near future will rest on AJ's fate in the forthcoming rematch against Usyk, which promoter Eddie Hearn revealed will take place next year after the Brit exercised his contractual right to run it back against the Ukrainian.
Fury vs Wilder 3 - Undercard results
American heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson kicked off the main card with a two-round demolition job on Russian veteran Vladimir Tereshkin.
Anderson, 21, improved to 10-0 with a comfortable win over his 33-year-old rival, further enhancing his reputation as one of the most talented fighters of the next generation of heavyweights as he stopped Tereshkin on his feet with a venomous flurry against the ropes.
Robert Helenius’ late career revival continued with victory over Adam Kownacki in a repeat of their March 2020 showdown as the 37-year-old Finn was awarded the win by DQ.
Thoroughly outclassed in the contest almost from the first bell, Poland’s Kownacki was picked apart by Helenius during a bruising affair in which he was repeatedly warned for low blows.
The referee’s patience finally wore out in round six when a fifth infraction saw Kownacki mercifully disqualified from the contest, saving him from a likely knockout defeat.
Frank Sanchez emerged triumphant over Efe Ajagba in a co-main event that proved light on entertainment as the awkward Cuban crusied to a comfortable win to keep his undefeated record intact.